America’s envoy to the United Nations raised eyebrows this week with a tweet about slain US Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl that many called baffling.
“Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence,” Samantha Power tweeted Sunday.
The comment ignited a backlash on social media, as many speculated that she was blaming Pearl for his fate.
Pearl was working for The Wall Street Journal when he was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan in 2002.
The tweet summarized one of the main points of a speech Power gave Sunday at the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture in Los Angeles, California.
Speaking at the event, Power said soon after Pearl’s death, “the Daniel Pearl Foundation took its brave stand on the opposite shore, guiding us toward a more profound response to hate: urging dialogue, shared learning, reconciliation, and a recognition that individual — not collective — accountability is required to break cycles of violence.”
Correction: @DanielPearlFNDN’s work is a reminder that individual accountability + reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence.
— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) February 24, 2014
On Monday, Power tweeted a clarification of the first tweet that read, “Correction: @DanielPearlFNDN’s work is a reminder that individual accountability + reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence.”
“As I said last night, the men who murdered Daniel Pearl did so because he was an American, and most of all, because he was a Jew,” she tweeted shortly thereafter.
The Irish-born Power, a one-time journalist who also has a Harvard Law School degree, has reported from many of the world’s trouble spots and won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for a book on the meek US response to many 20th century atrocities, including those in Rwanda and Bosnia in the 1990s. She has long backed intervention — including military force — to halt human rights violations.
Power’s penchant for outspokenness has included her widely-panned 2002 comments speculating about a possible need for a “mammoth protection force” to prevent hypothetical Israeli violence against Palestinians, a statement from which she has distanced herself.
Times of the Israel staff and AP contributed to this report.